Our partnership with ABRSM – Giving your child something worthwhile to work towards

At our Term Time Courses, we’re incredibly proud to be partners with Music Medals, a fantastic award scheme established and run by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). With The Strings Club, your child will be able to work towards a Music Medal award on a regular basis, tracking their progress term on term.

Well done to all children who took their music medal awards last term. We have once again received fantastic results, and are waiting on a few more to come through – Congratulations to each and every one of you!

Take a look on our Sharing and Celebrating page to see the recent achievements of children enrolled on one of our award-winning Term Time Courses.

What’s special about Music Medals?

1) Whereas typically it might take over a year for a beginner to reach the standard to enter for Grade 1, Music Medals can be achieved on a termly basis giving your child something really rewarding and worthwhile to practice towards.

2) Music Medals are convenient for you as a parent too, as they always take place at the venue of your child’s lessons, rather than at an exam centre, and typically on the same day as a regular lesson.

3) The examinations are cost effective with prices beginning from only £11.50 and involve:

  • an ensemble-based piece
  • a solo piece
  • a short musicianship test

4) Starting with Copper and moving up progressively to a Platinum (equivalent to GCSE A* and ABRSM Grade 4 standard), Music Medal awards also count towards valuable points to the Qualifications and Credit Framework, which can be used as part of an academic application in UK.

Entrants are nominated by their Strings Club teacher and, if successful, they will be awarded with a Music Medal as well as their own certificate.

Take advantage of our Autumn Early Bird offer!

Book your child onto a Term Time Course and our October Half Term Holiday Camp and receive 10% off both – Offer ends a week on Friday, so hurry!

Please note – to claim our Autumn Season Early Bird offer, bookings must be made over the phone only. Minimum number of sessions to be booked at our Holiday Camp is 2 mornings, 2 afternoons or one full-day. Discount does not apply to our wrap-around care prices.

Book your child onto a Term Time Course today

Our unmissable “Disney-themed” workshops are coming soon

Today we are thrilled to share with you what’s in store during the Week 6 of our Holiday Camps this summer!

Here is a sneak peek at our “Disney-themed” week – Monday 21 – Friday 25 August throughout all locations.

 

Big Sing Song

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me” is known to many as a joyful song of lasting friendship. What makes a good friend? Learning to feel valued for our individuality is fundamental to developing into confident individuals. We will be taking your child on a musical journey – singing and dancing on the way!

Join us on Monday 21 August

 

 

Meet The Producer

Many children will recognise his iconic animated creations such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but do they know who is actually behind such creations? In this ever-so-exciting workshop, we will be exploring the life and achievements of Walt Disney, discovering more about his magical characters!

Join us on Tuesday 22 August

 

Music In Motion

This workshop is inspired by the enchanting story of “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll and it’s all about exploring physical movement and expressions! How would you walk through a narrow corridor if you suddenly became ten times bigger? Or even, smaller?

Join us on Wednesday 23 August

 

Pieces Of Me

Following our Performarama workshop based on the popular “Inside Out”, in this inspiring session, we will be having a deeper look into what goes inside our head, exploring various emotions and developing an understanding of different feelings. We will also be making connections between emotions and music – in the most fun and enjoyable way with lots of shapes and colours!

Join us on Thursday 24 August

 

Imagination Station

Whether it’s drawing, painting, building or even sculpting, we believe giving your child freedom over their creative work is absolutely crucial. The sun doesn’t have to be a yellow splotch and the ocean doesn’t have to be a blue smudge, so let’s get those creative juices flowing!

Join us on Friday 25 August

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our Ofsted registered Holiday Camps are inclusive and accessible – They provide a friendly, safe and inspiring environment where children make new friends, build confidence and learn skills whilst having a huge amount of fun.

Our Summer Holiday Camps are proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

See here for a full list of our weekly themes

Coming up – Our fantastic “Fairies & Dragons” week!

Today we are pleased to share with you more about what lies ahead during the Week 4 of our Summer Holiday Camps!

Here is a sneak peek at our “Fairies & Dragons” week – Monday 7 – Friday 11 August.

 

Sounds and Colours

This week is all about fairies and dragons, and we will be starting our week off getting slightly messy… With paints, feathers and glitters, your child will be designing their own dragon eggs – with hidden instruments inside them!

Join us on Monday 7 August

 

Big Sing Song

We love a good old sing song here at The Strings Club, and in this exciting workshop, your child will learn to sing and dance to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from the Disney classic –  “Mulan”. If your child loves to sing, this workshop will be absolutely perfect for them!

Join us on Tuesday 8 August

 

Meet The Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

Did you know that Felix Mendelssohn started composing when he was just 10 years old? In this exciting, we will be examining his life and music, in particular, one of his most known works, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Join us on Wednesday 9 August

 

 

 

Performarama “The Neverending Story”

Based on the epic fantasy story of “The Neverending Story”, children will be reading this enchanting story and then encourage to act it out as their favourite character! An unmissable and a truly wonderful way for your child to build confidence.

Join us on Thursday 10 August

 

Music In Motion

This energetic workshop is truly action-packed and fun-filled! Using a song from a popular movie “Shrek”, children will be interpreting the words from the song using their bodies. Don’t forget to bring your shoes for this one!

Join us on Friday 11 August

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our Ofsted registered Holiday Camps are inclusive and accessible – They provide a friendly, safe and inspiring environment where children make new friends, build confidence and learn skills whilst having a huge amount of fun.

Our Summer Holiday Camps are proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

See here for a full list of our weekly themes

BBC Proms – The Strings Club Recommends

If you are a music enthusiast like us, the BBC Proms will undoubtedly be the most anticipated ‘musical jamboree’ of the summer. It is not only the world’s largest classical musical festival, but is also one that showcases the best international musicians, conductors and personalities from around the world. This year’s ever-so-popular musical celebration runs from Friday 14 July – Saturday 9 September, and we cannot be more excited!

Here at The Strings Club Head Office, we have each picked out some of the highlights from this year’s event, especially for you.

The Strings Club Recommends:

 

Amy’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 19: Relaxed Prom (Saturday 29 July, 12:00)

A concert suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities as well as individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted. This first ever Relaxed Prom is a fun and interactive musical experience in a welcoming environment, with plenty of opportunities for participation. The programme includes music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and John Strauss II, as well as Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ theme.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: At The Strings Club’s workshop, your child will be singing their hearts out to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” in our ever-so-popular interactive ‘Big Sing Song’ workshop!

Our Big Sing Song: “Happy” workshop is coming to our Hampstead, Brockley and Harborne Holiday Camps on Tuesday 29 August.

Jasmine’s Pick 

 

  • Proms Extra: NYO Young Promoters (Saturday 5 August, 17:30)

Join musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at this unique and friendly event for teenagers hosted by the NYO’s Young Promoters – a great chance to find out about the music in this evening’s Prom.

Find out more about this event here

Charlotte’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 14: Holst – The Planets (Tuesday 25 July, 18:30)

In this evening’s event, Holst’s galactic suite conjures up the epic scope of a movie blockbuster in luminous music of infinite vistas, while Vaughan Williams’s enigmatic final symphony also revels in an augmented sound-world: it’s a piece the conductor, John Wilson, sees as a suitably radical counterpart to The Planets.

Find out more about this event here

Daniel’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 15: The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) (Tuesday 25 July, 22:15)

An icon of the 1960s, Scott Walker has travelled from Walker Brothers teen idol to avant-garde contemporary musician, influencing artists from David Bowie and Leonard Cohen to Goldfrapp along the way. This evening’s Late Night Prom tribute presents tracks from his four self-titled albums with live orchestral backing for the very first time.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: Are you a fan of David Bowie? In The Strings Club’s special David Bowie workshop, we hope to build your child’s appreciation for the music of the British musician and cultural icon whilst encouraging them to understand the importance of individuality.

Our Meet The Artist: David Bowie workshop is coming to our Holiday Camps across all of our sites on Thursday 27 July.

Asako’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 8: Celebrating John Williams (Thursday 20 July, 19:30)

John Williams is among the greatest of film composers – His scores for Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the Indiana Jones films have made him a household name. The BBC Proms celebrates his extraordinary achievements in a concert to mark William’s 85th birthday.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: In The Strings Club’s John Williams workshop on, your child will explore how his world-famous soundtracks can be used to tell a particular story, specifically using his music from Star Wars.

Our Meet The Composer: John Williams workshop is coming to our Holiday Camps across all of our sites on Thursday 31 August.

Your first time?

 

The Proms are the perfect occasion to try a classical concert for the first time, and with your child too. However, if you can’t make it to Royal Albert Hall, don’t worry, you can watch the catch up on TV or tune into Radio 3!

Which event are you interested in? Let us know over on our Facebook page – We would absolutely love to hear your thoughts!

Like the sound of our workshops too? There’re only limited spaces available for our Holiday Camps this summer – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

Click here to find us on Facebook

How can we keep your child inspired this summer?

As a mum of a two year old, I already feel a slight breathlessness when I think about the summer holidays. Of course, it is a wonderful time for memorable experiences with our children and a great chance for us to go places and see things that we usually don’t have the time to do during the weekends. However, the reality also is that most parents have to work and not everyone is lucky enough to have a close family member or friend around the corner who will be able to look after our children whilst we are working, especially for free!

What’s more, knowing that your child is doing something meaningful and worthwhile is also so important, I find. For example, I would not be very happy if I had paid for my child to attend a Holiday Camp and all they did was play in a sandpit all day and be bored. Of course, there are childcare providers out there that do provide this low level of childcare however as a mum and alongside being the director of The Strings Club, my job and main priority is to ensure that this does not take place. I want all children that attend one of our Holiday Camps to have truly memorable experiences with us – and for the right reasons too!

I wanted to ensure that children not only had a great time with us at The Strings Club but also that every day was wonderfully different for them. Recently joining me at the head office is Asako Zavertajeva-Onishi, a post graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire with a real passion for designing music workshops and educational activities for children. Asako carefully creates every workshop that takes place at our Holiday Camps and each one, from our Big Sing Song, to Sounds and Colours to Meet the Composer ensures that your child develops in more ways than one! As we have many children attending throughout the whole summer holidays, we also have ensured that every week has a different theme and I am so excited about this summer’s themes – ranging from Musical Heroes (including a workshop on David Bowie which I cannot wait for!) to our Celebrating Cultures where we take your child on a musical adventure across the world. For more information on our weekly themes for this summer, please see our previous blog post here.

To ensure that our Holiday Camps offer only the best in childcare and music education, I also created a “Your Child’s Development is Key” that outlines what skills children will develop with us on a daily basis. These include music-based skills, physical education, communication and language and personal, social and emotional health too. We have implemented these factors into each and every single activity that takes place at our Holiday Camps. You can find out a little bit more about this on our website too here.

Finally, I hope I have shown you my utmost passion towards what we do at The Strings Club and our Ofsted-registered Holiday Camps. I would love nothing more than your child to join us this summer holidays and for not only your child to be enthralled with their time with us but also for you as a parent to feel happy and comforted that your child is happy and in safe hands.

Join us at a Holiday Camp this summer!

Autumn Re-enrolment

As busy parents we know that your time is precious and we’d like to help. That is why we will process your child’s re-enrolment to our Term Time Courses on your behalf.

We will complete the process for you next week on Monday 26th of June. 

In order to secure their place next term all you need to do is pay a deposit of 30% of next term’s fees. Please see our Terms and Conditions here. 

This can be done:

  • online
  • by calling Head Office on 0121 296 9204

This must be paid by Friday 7th July in order to secure your child’s place next term

You & Your Child’s Details

If you or your child’s details have changed in any way or if you no longer wish to hire an instrument please inform Head Office ASAP by phone or email (we will assume that you wish to keep hiring the instrument unless otherwise informed).

Fancy A Change?

Ready to go it alone? If you do not intend for your child to join us next term you must inform us by Friday 7th July so we can free up the place in the class for another child.

If your child’s class becomes too small we may need to merge it with another class – should this be the case we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Payment Plans

To make things even easier termly fees can now be paid for via a payment plan.

Once we have received your 30% deposit we will be in touch to enrol you in Monthly Payment Plan*.

This means that you can spread the cost over the term using our safe, simple, and reliable automatic billing system.

Payment plan - schedule of payments for autumn term:

Payment%Date DueTerm Week
Deposit30%Friday 7th JulyEnd of Week 9
Payment 135%Monday 25th SeptemberWeek 2
Payment 235%Monday 16th OctoberWeek 5

If you do not wish to pay via the payment plan then full payment for the summer term must be received by Friday 7th July.

If you have any questions about the re-enrolment process, our Head Office can be reached any weekday between 9am-5pm by email or you can call us on 0121 296 9204.

 

Encouraging your child to practice – when does it become “a chore”?

Having taught violin for over 10 years, the issue of practice has always been a “hot topic” amongst both children and parents alike. It’s a subject that when raised usually receives a huge gasp or even facial expressions of contempt from children. “Have you managed to practice this week?” I would ask a child and the answer would be “yes”, “a little bit” or “no”, followed by a list of reasons why. The best of which was “I couldn’t practice as my dog was sat on it!”.

One of the main reasons I set up The Strings Club in 2012 was to offer musical programmes for children that ignited their love of music from the offset. That inspired them to get their instrument out at home, to practice and to feel confident in performing in front of family and friends at home. At The Strings Club Head Office, we are sometimes contacted by parents asking us how they can encourage their child to practice at home without them pushing them to do so. Understandably, parents feel pressured into not only ensuring that their child progresses on a weekly basis, but also ensuring that they are getting “their money’s worth” too.

From experience, I have listed the main reasons why children do not want to practice below and underneath each point, I have listed how our award-winning Term Time Courses and fantastic teaching team ensure that children practice on a regular basis.

They are not encouraged to practice

At the beginning of each Term, children also receive a “practice makes perfect” guide to monitor their practice too! Each week, children receive a “practice makes perfect” diary that has all the information they will need including keywords, recommended listening to the main songs they should be focusing on that week.

They have nothing to work towards so get bored easily

As partners with Music Medals, The Royal Schools of Music, all children are encouraged to work towards a Music Medal on a regular basis – giving them something really worthwhile to work towards. We have also designed Minis Awards for our Minis classes too!

They don’t know how to practice

This is so important and is something that I believe is an integral part of learning an instrument. More often than not though, children and their parents are not advised on how to practice at home and this is something that is so important to know. Here are a few myths below regarding practice:

  • Myth #1

You need to practice for an hour a day to make any progress

Nonsense! If your child wants to play for an hour a day then great! But if not, encouraging them to practice for 5-10 mins a day to start off with is a fantastic start!

  • Myth #2

You need to practice at the same time every day

Nonsense! Yes, getting into a good routine (see below) is good, however, we understand how busy children are, so as long as they take the time to practice on a regular basis, then this is great!

  • Myth #3

If you don’t practice for a day or two, your standards will go down

Nonsense! One of my old violin teachers who was also an infamous solo violinist practices for 8-10 hours every day, however, this was her job. If your child misses a few days because of going on holiday, illness, whatever reason, this does not mean their playing standards will have drastically decreased.

For those 200 children who attend our Term Time Courses, we would however recommend that they attend our summer Holiday Camps this summer. Our morning ‘Learn Together, Play Together’ sessions are a great way to ensure that your child’s playing standards remain at a high standard and avoid what we call at the Head Office, “the summer slump”. The sessions are specifically geared to those children who already play and are invaluable in developing those ensemble playing together skills whilst also having fun playing music with others. Your child is also encouraged to bring in their pieces that they have been assigned for the holidays. This way, they will be mini maestros by their first Term Time lesson in September!

My top five tips in encouraging your child to practice!

I share my top 5 tips in encouraging your child to practice. Many of these I have learnt through my own teaching, but also some have come from parents at The Strings Club as well as children who attend either a Term Time Course or Holiday Camp. If you have a top tip to share, I would love to hear it and share with other parents.

  1. Practice for 5-10 mins a day to start off with – best to practice for small amounts and regularly than for long durations and unoften
  2. Encourage your child to really look after their instrument and take responsibility
  3. Be positive to your child (if it doesn’t sound quite right, encourage them to try again!)
  4. Encourage them to perform regularly in front of you
  5. Have the instrument in a convenient place where they can access it quickly

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please visit our Facebook page or contact me on amy@thestringsclub.org.

Join us at a Holiday Camp this summer!

Recommend a friend and receive your exclusive discount code!

We have an exclusive offer for those who attended our May Half Term Holiday Camps in two of our new areas – Balham and Islington!*

We understand that attending a camp for the first time can be a tiny bit scary for your child, and allowing children to buddy up with their friends can help with their nerves.

That’s where our exclusive Recommend A Friend offer comes in. Simply tell your friends how you got on this Half Term at The Strings Club and as an added bonus you will receive 10% off your next booking with us!

This offer is a fantastic way of settling in children and ensuring they have a great time in a new environment with their friends and a great way to save too.

This is an exclusive offer for our Holiday Camps during the Summer Holidays in Balham and Islington only.

Simply follow these three steps:

1) Share your experience at The Strings Club with your friends!

2) Get your friend to book with us on our Summer Holiday Holiday Camps in Balham or Islington

3) Contact us via phone on 0121 296 9204 – once we have confirmed your friend’s booking with us, you will be able to claim your 10% off!

Our Holiday Camps are packed with fun-filled, unmissable musical experiences for children aged 4-11. Each day is wonderfully different, including a range of exciting workshops in the afternoons alongside high quality small group instrumental classes in the mornings.

*This offer is for Balham & Islington customers only.

Find out more about our Summer Holiday Camps here

Welcome to The Strings Club – Solihull

We are very excited to announce that we will be moving to the B91 area from September 2017 onwards. 

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest offers and news.

What we offer

We have a lot to offer in Solihull with wonderfully bespoke musical activities to suit every child and family budget.

Term Time Courses  

Enhance your child’s development with our weekly ukulele, guitar, violin and cello classes – all set within a fun, supportive and rewarding environment. Our partnership with Music Medals, The Royal Schools of Music will also enable and inspire your child to achieve from the outset.

Holiday Camps

Rated 5* by parents on Netmums, our award winning Ofsted registered Holiday Camps bring  together the very best of music education and childcare to engage and inspire your child – every school holiday. Each day is wonderfully different, including a range of exciting workshops alongside high quality small group classes.

Parties 

Ukulele Gurus party with The Strings Club is packed full of high-octane party games, fun filled activities and memorable music-making. Free hire of a ukulele for each child too! From your initial enquiry to the “big day”, we believe your experience with us should be as hassle-free as possible.

Discovery Days

Packed full of high-quality, unmissable musical activities, this free event will inspire your child from the offset and give you the chance to see and hear the amazing things we have to offer. Your child will also get to try out two new instruments and experience two 20 minute lessons – all for free!

Join us at one of our upcoming events:

 

Discovery Days:

Saturday 22nd July – 10.30am – 12pm – Sharmans Cross Primary, Sharmans Cross Rd, Solihull B91 1PH

Saturday 16th of September – 10.30am – 12pm – Sharmans Cross Primary, Sharmans Cross Rd, Solihull B91 1PH

 

 

Term Time Courses:

Dates: Saturday 23rd September – Saturday 2nd December (excluding Saturday 28th October)

Time: Please click here for a list of available classes and times for Minis (aged 4-5) and Sound Start (aged 5+)

Venue: Sharmans Cross Primary, Sharmans Cross Rd, Solihull B91 1PH

 

Holiday Camps:

Dates:

 

October Half Term – 23 October to 27 October

Time: Standard hours 9.30am – 4pm. Choose to book from half a day to the full 5-day experience! Early Bird and Late Club available too.

Venue: Sharmans Cross Primary, Sharmans Cross Rd, Solihull B91 1PH

 

Have a question? Why not contact us here or give us a call on 0121 296 9204.